Kafr Al Sheikh Prosecution on Saturday issued arrest warrants for the father and two teachers of a secondary school student for inciting him to take to school a ruler bearing the “Rabaa” sign, which symbolises support for ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
Khaled Mohamed Baqara, 15, is a first year student at Balteem Secondary Industrial School and was originally detained on 28 November, with his detention having been extended another 15 days on 8 December by the governorate’s prosecution.
Baqara’s lawyer, Amr Aly Al-Din, said that on 25 November, Baqara had placed a ruler on his desk displaying both the Rabaa sign and Students Against the Coup logo on it. When his teacher, Yasser Daadour, asked him not to use the ruler, the student refused, prompting Daadour to inspect Baqara’s bag and find two notebooks also bearing Rabaa signs.
Aly Al-Din added that Daadour referred the student to school headmaster Ramadan Al-Sisi who called his father and asked him to come to school immediately. The father was not able to come to school at the time, so he sent his brother.
Headmaster Al-Sisi called the local police, who came to the school and removed Baqara. Police wrote in the report that the student had been in possession of a ruler which “had a sign that implies violence and offends the armed forces, the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sign” according to Aly Al-Din.
The student was referred the next day to Al-Borolos Prosecution, which is subordinate to Kafr Al-Sheikh Prosecution (its governorate), where the prosecutor refused to detain him despite direct instructions from Kafr Al-Sheikh Prosecution. Kafr Al-Sheikh prosecutor Farouk Al-Sayed then ordered the case to be sent to him, Aly Al-Din said.
Al-Sayed took the decision to detain Baqara for 15 days on 26 November with the same charge written in the police report.
Baqara was detained for four days in Beyalla Police station, 60 km away from his hometown of Al-Borolos. He was later sent to a Kafr Al-Sheikh Security Forces camp to serve out the rest of his detention period, having been handed an extra 15 day detention on 8 December.
On Saturday, Kafr Al-Sheikh Prosecution received Homeland Security’s investigations regarding the case. The investigations indicated, according to Aly Al-Din, that Baqara’s father, fisherman Mohamed Abdel Ghany Baqara, was “a Muslim Brotherhood leader and incited the student” to take the ruler to school. The same charges were given to teachers Hamdio Al-Kheish and Ashraf Asslan. The three were issued arrest warrants on the same day, but are yet to be apprehended.
Aly Al-Din added that Asslan is Baqara’s relative, while Al-Kheish had a recent argument with headmaster Al-Sisi in the school.
“Despite thousands being detained for raising Rabaa signs, legally it is not a crime,” said human rights lawyer Gamal Eid.
Eid added that raising this sign could imply a variety of meanings. “It could be as a Brotherhood supporter, or [simply expressing] sympathy with those who died during the [Rabaa Al-Adaweya] sit-in dispersal,” he said. “In this case, the prosecution should not consider raising the sign a crime.”